Take your business global with MetroConnect VI

International arm of EDC opens applications for next round of MetroConnect

Take your company global or grow your existing international sales with MetroConnect VI, the sixth iteration of World Trade Center San Diego‘s flagship export assistance program presented by JPMorgan Chase and Procopio.

Apply now to become one of 15 companies selected to receive a $5,000 export assistance grant, attend private executive export workshops, get complimentary access to SystranPRO translation software, and more.

Company applicants must:

  • Be headquartered in San Diego
  • Be export-ready, meaning the company is already exporting its goods/services or looking to pursue international sales as a near-term priority
  • Have been in business for at least one year
  • Be an SBA-designated small businesses

In its first four years, MetroConnect San Diego assisted 65 small businesses in turning $790,000 in export funding into:

  • $85,000,000 in new international sales
  • 500 new international contracts
  • 18 new offices around the world

Meet the MetroConnect alumni, including past winners EDDY Pump, CureMatch, Cypher Genomics, and Rough Draft Brewing.

MetroConnect companies receive:

  • $5,000 private-sector funded export assistance grant
  • Seven executive workshops on export-related topics
  • Complimentary access to SystranPRO machine translation software
  • Discounts on international travel with partner airlines, such as American Airlines, British Airways, and Japan Airlines
  • EDC investor benefits for the duration of the program ($5,000 value)
  • PR and marketing support from WTC San Diego
  • Access to a network of mentors, consultants, and service providers in San Diego and overseas
  • Chance to compete for a $25,000 grand prize

Apply here by DECEMBER 17

The application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Learn more:

MetroConnect: Six things you should know about the state of logistics

In February, World Trade Center San Diego (WTC) hosted the seventh and final workshop of its MetroConnect V program. The session brought in experts from around the region to discuss the movement of goods and integration of supply chain operations across a firm. Partners for the session included JAS Forwarding, the University of San Diego Supply Chain Management Institute, the City of San Diego, and California International Trade Center.

Here are six key takeaways from a very informative session:

1. Shipping costs are at an all-time high, while schedule reliability for ocean freight is at an all-time low.

A brutal mix of COVID-19-related factors have placed tremendous stress on a system that, in a normal year, already sees congestion through the holiday season into March. Expect to see abnormally high prices into the summer months and account for the extra time it may take your goods to reach their destination.

Illustration of ocean liner congestion coming into the container ports of LA and Long Beach

Illustration of ocean liner congestion coming into the container ports of LA and Long Beach

2. Less passenger air travel has led to longer lead times for air freight.

Typically, 45 to 50 percent of global air cargo is carried in the belly holds of passenger aircraft. As governments around the world now shift their focus to rapid vaccine distribution, other types of air freight are competing for space on limited aircraft.

3. Export regulation around Hong Kong and China has changed.

From an export regulation standpoint, Hong Kong is no longer treated as a separate entity from China. This is a policy that is expected to remain with the new Biden Administration.

4. The Department of Commerce has imposed new BIS regulations on exports.

There are new BIS regulations for exported goods and services that “could” be used by military end users. Denied Party Screening has never been more important.

5. Supply chains continue to become more digitally and globally integrated.

With Industry 4.0, digitally connecting the various partners within a supply chain will require collaboration, trust, commitment, and risk-sharing, as well as leadership from larger channel partners.

6. Foreign Trade Zones can save you significant time and money.

Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) can be a valuable resource for San Diego businesses that import raw materials for domestic production or reexport finished products. You can learn more about San Diego’s FTZ program here.

Next steps for MetroConnect companies

World Trade Center San Diego will pilot a Digital Trade Series with California International Trade Center (CITC) to help SMEs grow exports through online channels. The inaugural installment of this global e-commerce mini program will run through the Spring and serve the current MetroConnect V cohort. Businesses will undergo a needs assessment analyzing their existing digital trade capabilities before receiving a customized action plan for enhancements to their website and online sales processes.

Interested in growing your business internationally?

World Trade Center San Diego works directly with companies – free of charge – to help them expand internationally and grow in San Diego. Whether your small company is interested in learning about exporting and international growth, or your small or medium sized company is ready to export and grow internationally, World Trade Center San Diego is here to help.



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Small business export center instituted at World Trade Center San Diego

Partnership with Small Business Development Center aimed to support San Diego’s small businesses in going global

San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has contracted with World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) in a unique partnership that will bring an Export Specialty Center to the region, housed at WTCSD. Announced today, the dedicated center will focus on small business export advising and training that serves to increase the number of export-ready firms in the region.

Amidst a pandemic-induced economic crisis, rapid shifts in global and regional supply chains, and changes to the country’s trading relationship with major world powers, it is critical that home-grown businesses are equipped with tools to compete in the global marketplace.

“The partnership with SBDC allows our team to build upon the export support that we’ve delivered for more than five years through our MetroConnect program. While MetroConnect serves a competitively-selected cohort of export-ready companies each year, the SBDC work will really focus on getting small businesses to a point where they are positioned for international growth, which we know will grow jobs, increase revenues and improve resiliency here at home,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director, WTCSD.

Launched in 2014 as an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), WTCSD will receive additional funding from SBDC to expand its export portfolio of small businesses, hire a new full-time employee, and tap into SBDC’s diverse network to funnel companies into its export accelerator program MetroConnect.

“By formalizing this partnership with WTCSD, the SBDC network now has a dedicated center focusing on export issues and advising here in San Diego and Imperial County. Exporting makes companies stronger and more resilient—especially important amid an economic downturn spurred by COVID-19,” said Daniel Fitzgerald, Associate Regional Director, SBDC.

The contract will run from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. WTCSD has hired coordinator Ajogwu (Jeff) Adegbe to help lead these efforts.

World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) operates as an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC. WTCSD works to further San Diego’s global competitiveness by building an export pipeline, attracting and retaining foreign investment and increasing San Diego’s global profile abroad. sandiegobusiness.org/wtcsd

About SBDC
The San Diego and Imperial SBDC, hosted by Southwestern Community College, is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz). It provides business advising on how to start, manage and grow a business, with most workshops and training at no cost to small business owners to provide economic impact for our region. The SBDC network includes eight service partners in San Diego County and one in Imperial County hosted by the Imperial Regional Alliance. San Diego County locations include: North San Diego SBDC (MiraCosta College), East San Diego SBDC (East County EDC), South San Diego SBDC (Southwestern College), the Brink SBDC (University of San Diego), Export Trade SBDC (WTCSD), Connect SBDC, Alliance SBDC (Asian Business Association) and International Rescue Committee SBDC. Services are provided in English, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Swahili, Dari, Vietnamese, Mandarin and others. sdivsbdc.org

MetroConnect V – Workshop Recap Q3

In Q3, World Trade Center San Diego (WTC) continued to support the 15 companies in its MetroConnect international sales accelerator program. As part of the year-long export education curriculum, WTC hosted two workshops with subject matter experts on the topics of International Marketing & Sales and GDPR & Data Privacy.

MetroConnect Workshop #4 – International Marketing & Sales

Hosted in partnership with Reid Carr (CEO of Red Door Interactive), Judy Webster (Director of Global Partner Marketing at Qualcomm), and Josh Halpern (Chief Strategy Officer at California International Trade Center).

A few things we learned:

  • Branding overseas starts with building a strong, authentic brand at home.
  • Be mindful of language considerations, even within different regions in the same country. Sometimes you may want to opt for visual representations over words. If you do need a professional, industry-specific language translation tool, check out SYSTRAN Translate Pro.
  • Understand which analytical tools you need (and can afford) to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.
  • Optimize your website to accommodate international customers. COVID-19 has only accelerated the unstoppable shift towards online shopping. Maximize your export opportunities through website localization and optimization.

MetroConnect Workshop #5 – GDPR & Data Privacy

Hosted in partnership with Elaine Harwell (Senior Counsel at Procopio) and Hannah Bracken (Commercial Specialist (Digital Policy) for the US Mission to the EU).

A few things we learned:

  • Unlike in the European Union, the US does not have a single omnibus bill addressing data privacy. Instead, we have a patchwork of state and federal statutes, some sector-specific and others focused on the rights of consumers.
  • The European Court of Justice’s recent ruling in Schrems II invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework, which many American companies have been using as a mechanism for transferring personal data from the EU to the US. (What happens now?)
  • California has a data privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), however this may soon be replaced by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which is on the ballot this November. Remember to vote!
  • If you are interested in learning more about GDPR and data privacy, our team will be recording a live webinar with Elaine Harwell (Procopio) on Thursday, October 29. Please reach out to Lucas Coleman at LC@sandiegobusiness.org and we will include you in our mailing list.

World Trade Center San Diego announces MetroConnect V cohort

World Trade Center San Diego’s Flagship Export Program

San Diego – San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego unveiled the 15 companies selected to participate in MetroConnect V, the fifth iteration of WTC San Diego’s international sales accelerator program, underwritten by Procopio and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The program is designed to help local companies jump start and scale their global growth.

“One of San Diego’s biggest exports is the innovation and ingenuity of our local companies and this business accelerator helps fuel the entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Programs like MetroConnect strengthen our local economy by creating opportunities for our small businesses to build greater networks, employ more San Diegans and further invest in our region.”

Now in its fifth program-year, WTC San Diego has adapted MetroConnect V to address the unique circumstances brought on by COVID-19. Routine video conferencing, an enhanced export education program, and virtual workshops with program partners are among the changes implemented prior to the virtual launch.  MetroConnect continues to equip small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with a suite of financial and programmatic resources in their efforts to bring their products and services to global markets.

Meet the Companies

1. Amavara
2. Blue Sky Network, LLC
3. Dynam.AI
4. Forward Slope, Inc.
5. LunaPBC
6. Mayan Robotics, LLC.
7. Modern Times Drinks
8. MRIaudio, Inc.
9. Omni2Max, Inc.
10. Semantic AI
11. Sidus Solutions
12. TradeSun, Inc.
13. Trex Enterprises Corp.
14. Uprise Energy
15. White Labs, Inc.

More About the Program

The MetroConnect program is highly competitive, with just 15 companies selected based on a variety of criteria, including product potential, interest in new markets, assessed impact of program funds and resources, current international traction, and more. Applicant companies are assessed by a panel of judges, which include representatives from Qualcomm Ventures, Connect w/ San Diego Venture Group, Biocom, the U.S. Commercial Service, CMTC, Viasat, Mitsubishi Electric, Procopio, San Diego State University, Tech San Diego, UC San Diego, San Diego Regional EDC, WTC San Diego, and the previous year’s program winner.

The MetroConnect program resources include:

  • $5,000 in matching grants to cover the costs associated with international expansion, made possible by co-underwriters JPMorgan Chase and Procopio, and with additional funds and in–kind services from more than a dozen sponsor companies
  • One year of complimentary access to SYSTRAN’s premium enterprise machine translation platform
  • Workshops (7) addressing export compliance, localized marketing strategies, and more, taught by private sector experts from the San Diego business community
  • Dedicated WTC San Diego staff manager to support company participants in deploying overseas strategies during the grant period
  • Reduced airfare on international flights out of San Diego International Airport with American Airlines, British Airways, and Japan Airlines
  • Free consultations with legal, tax, and consulting partners
  • Access to a mentor network consisting of trade experts at large and mid-sized San Diego firms and country representatives at the Japan External Trade Organization and the United Kingdom Government Office in San Diego
  • Consideration to compete for an additional $25,000 during the MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitchfest

“San Diego’s continued economic growth is vital to the region’s long-term health and prosperity,” said Aaron Ryan, Executive Director and San Diego Region Manager of JPMorgan Chase’s Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries practice. “MetroConnect will enable some of San Diego’s brightest companies to grow internationally, and help them successfully navigate the complexities of doing business abroad. JPMorgan Chase is proud to support this impact on the San Diego economy.”

Since the program’s debut in 2015, 65 MetroConnect alumni have collectively generated $85 million in new export sales, signed 500 new contracts, added 269 new jobs to the region, set up 18 new overseas facilities and seen five successful company exits. Past participants include Coronado Brewing, Cypher Genomics (acquired by Human Longevity Inc.), Dr. Bronner’s, Planck Aerosystems, Scientist.com and many more. From community-owned health and genomic data platform LunaPBC, to unmanned aerial systems component manufacturer Mayan Robotics, to California’s very first employee-owned brewery Modern Times, the 2020 MetroConnect companies represent a diverse cross section of San Diego’s innovation economy.

“The MetroConnect program’s support of innovative, high-growth SMEs aligns with the priorities of our firm,” said Jim Perkins, COO and Chief Compliance Officer of program co-underwriter Procopio. “We are thrilled to support WTC San Diego in this endeavor and are looking forward to lending our knowledge and expertise to the new cohort of MetroConnect companies.”

Why MetroConnect Matters Now More Than Ever

Expanding a customer base into multiple markets creates resiliency. That has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic as global markets have been affected, then subsequently recovered at varying rates. Additionally, as a port city, trade has always played a big role in San Diego’s economy and the success of the businesses that call this city home. In 2018 alone, San Diego exported more than $20 billion in goods overseas, as well as billions more in services like software, cybersecurity, engineering and research. SMEs produce 92 percent of those goods – driving home the point of programs like MetroConnect. Plus, according to the Brookings Institution, companies that are global pay higher wages, are less likely to go out of business, and increase productivity of the domestic market.

One member of the current cohort has already experienced the benefits of taking part in a program like MetroConnect. White Labs’ yeast serves as a key ingredient in beer, which has made it a pillar of San Diego’s craft brewing industry for the last 25 years. International expansion has always been an important part of White Labs’ business, and it applied to be part of the MetroConnect V cohort to expand and improve its international procedures, policies, and marketing to continue to expand globally.

MetroConnect put White Labs in contact with JAS Forwarding. JAS was able to assist White Labs by reviewing its import/export procedures. This consultancy resulted in White Labs adapting their documentation systems to decrease customs clearance holds in Australia.

JoAnne Carilli-Stevenson, Head of Business Development for White Labs, told the MetroConnect team that this change has “resulted in improved service to customers, and decreased re-shipments required due to custom delays. At a time when we are working hard to balance supply and demand during crisis, this change in international procedure is significant for us.”

“Amidst a global health and economic crisis, new agreements and ongoing negotiations with key trading partners, and the rapid evolution of global supply chains, it is more important than ever to give local SMEs an edge in the global marketplace by equipping them with the tools to be successful,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego. “Financial assistance, export education, preferred access to ancillary export services, and connectivity to an international network of partners and mentors – all of these were requests emanating from the small and medium-sized companies this program serves. With 98 percent of San Diego’s economy comprised of such businesses, it is critical that we are responsive to their needs.”

See the full list of MetroConnect V companies here.

About World Trade Center San Diego
World Trade Center San Diego operates as an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. WTC San Diego works to further San Diego’s global competitiveness by building an export pipeline, attracting and retaining foreign investment and increasing San Diego’s global profile abroad. sandiegobusiness.org/wtcsd


Looking to go global? Take this advice from 10 San Diego-based companies

Drug discovery is a global industry. In 2017, Solana Beach-based Scientist.com – a B2B marketplace for drug discovery – had seen increasing profits from Europe, and was looking to capture a piece of Japan’s $95 billion pharmaceutical industry – one of the largest in the world.

Entering any global market requires patience, persistence, and expertise. In Japan – with high costs associated with entry and multiple cultural difference – Scientist.com needed to do it the right way. This meant setting up a subsidiary, hiring a new employee, securing office space, and more.

Enter MetroConnect. MetroConnect is an export assistance program that provides San Diego based companies with the resources (including a $5,000 grant) they need to go global.

At the conclusion of the program, Scientist.com had successfully set up an office in Tokyo, hired a new employee, and developed multiple partnerships – making Japan one of its largest markets by international sales.

Scientist.com’s Solana Beach offices

The MetroConnect Program

In the program’s first four years, the World Trade Center San Diego team has worked with 65 companies to help them grow their international sales. In total, these companies have had an $85M net increase in exports and opened 18 new overseas facilities. As a result of this spike in international business, participating companies have created 267 new jobs in San Diego.

From breweries to software development to genomics and drones, MetroConnect companies reflect the diverse industries that make up our economy.

At the end of their time in the cohort, we ask every company the same thing: What advice would you give other companies looking to export?

And because we don’t want to hoard these pearls of wisdom, here’s what they said:

When going global, research is everything

  • “Do as much research as you can before launching any market. Get as much background on each importer as you can and use local resources to help with any questions or concerns. Know the requirements of each market to avoid any delays.” – Coronado Brewing (MetroConnect III)
  • Do your homework first and find the markets with the least barriers to entry (language, duties & registration fees, etc.) and highest potential in revenue.” –  Dr. Bronner’s (MetroConnect IV)
  • “Some markets require additional stipulations like extended warranties you have to account product in a different country.” – ROBO 3D (MetroConnect I)
  • “Identify a distributor who has physical presence in each country you wish to target, as this will ensure faster deployment” – Wearable Sensing (MetroConnect I)
  • “Go where your product is needed most and not necessarily where the biggest financial opportunity is. Your products will gain a bigger percentage of a smaller market share rather than a smaller percentage of a larger market share. This will bring stability and staying power to your products and your brand.” – ArcticZero (MetroConnect IV)

Learn from the locals, in San Diego and abroad

  • “Seek support early on and engage with professional networks to acquire the necessary knowledge, talent, and partnering for export assistance; approach trade organizations to help identify your target markets, and always be prepared to encounter obstacles” – Cypher Genomics, acquired by Human Longevity Inc (MetroConnect I)
  • “Just remember ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ so do not hesitate to ask the locals for assistance; every market is different, and many of their respective pitfalls can be avoided by listening to local knowledge.” – Scientist.com (MetroConnect IV)
  • “There are so many local companies exporting that we encourage you to talk to them – or us! Aligning yourself with companies who’ve already been successful at exporting will provide you with the proper resources, tips, contacts, and advice on what to do and what not to do.” – Urban Translations (MetroConnect III)

Be in it for the long haul

  • “Be persistent – it takes time and patience to establish effective working relationships in many markets, such as India and Japan, but that patience will pay off over the near and longer term.” – Tioga Research (MetroConnect III)
  • “Expect the sales cycle to take much longer than you are used to. Also, for any companies exporting physical goods, start the shipping paperwork as early as possible” – Planck Aerosystems (MetroConnect III)

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Interested in taking your company global? Applications for MetroConnect VI are open through November 15. Learn more about the requirements and benefits of this unique program.

Apply here

MetroConnect is proudly underwritten by Procopio and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Related EDC articles and research:

How MetroConnect helped one local company create $5M+ in sales

EDDY Pump is not your typical family business. When Ben Weinrib took over as CEO in early 2019, he committed to elevating his father’s technology and getting it into as many hands as possible.

The making of EDDY Pump

EDDY Pump creates slurry pumps across several industries, including oil, mining, and energy. Take the mining industry, for example. Pumps are a crucial part of the mining process, yet they often fall prey to a myriad of problems including clogging, overheating, and more. Using propriety technology to harness the power of the Eddy current – a special closed loop electrical current – the San Diego-based company creates a unique, best-in-class product.

A San Diego success story

In order to succeed in a field where many of the opportunities exist overseas, =the San Diego-based company needed to effectively target and sell to global customers. That’s where MetroConnect comes in.

MetroConnect is World Trade Center San Diego’s(WTCSD) export assistance program. Since 2014, WTCSD has provided at least 15 companies annual with resources and the financial assistance they need to conquer global markets.

During its tenure in the MetroConnect program, EDDY Pump started raking in the international business. From a $2M contract with Barrick Gold Corporation – the world’s second largest mining company – to a deal with the Chilean Navy, EDDY Pump proved with the right resources and support, it could take its business to the next level.

The company’s global success did not go unnoticed. In November, EDDY Pump was crowned the MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitch winner. Along with bragging rights, the EDDY Pump team took home 35k in additional funding.

Interested in taking your company global?

Applications for MetroConnect are now open until January 31. Learn more about the requirements and benefits.

Apply today


Related EDC articles and research: 



2019 in Review: Top 10 wins for EDC

With and through our nearly 200 investors, EDC works to maximize San Diego’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness. This year, we helped companies grow, looked to new corners of our community for high-quality talent, and developed programs and initiatives to create a stronger region.

Through it all, EDC impacted 5,228 jobs and worked on 179 projects – supported by companies, investors, community partners, and more – on behalf of San Diego’s economy. While our work spans multiple industries and organizations, with various programs and goals, there’s an universal thread that ties it all together: build a more inclusive economy that benefits all San Diegans.

As we close out 2019 and another successful decade, let us recap our top 10 wins for San Diego…

  1. San Diego: Life. Changing.’s Just Say No to Winter campaign received national attention

Going into its fourth year, SD: Life. Changing. is our award-winning campaign that aims to attract and retain talent for our region. We kicked off 2019 with Just Say No to Winter, a transit and social media campaign that targeted STEM talent in Boston, Chicago, and New York during the peak of winter with information about career opportunities in San Diego. Thanks to this go-viral marketing push – and coverage in The New York Times, the nationally-syndicated program “The List,” and more – we saw 34X the ROI, 2.6 million social media impressions, and 36K video views.

  1. EDC received its largest grant in history, catalyzing Advancing San Diego

San Diego was one of five cities to receive a $3 million investment as part of JPMorgan Chase’s AdvancingCities Challenge, an initiative to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity across the U.S. This funding allowed EDC to form Advancing San Diego, which aims to cultivate a more inclusive economy by addressing regional talent shortages and strengthening relationships between businesses and education systems. The newly minted program is now contributing toward our Inclusive Growth regional goal of 20,000 skilled workers (degree or credential holders) in San Diego County by 2030.

  1. World Trade Center SD’s MetroConnect export assistance program had its best year yet

Made possible through a grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co., MetroConnect provides small- and medium-sized companies with the resources necessary to expand into global markets. During the 2018-19 program, companies in MetroConnect IV collectively generated a net increase of $69.6 million in export sales, signed 369 international contracts, and opened 10 new facilities overseas. Together, the 20 participating companies also created more than 100 jobs in San Diego – evidence that exporting supports the increase of jobs locally.

And, you’re in luck – Applications are now open for the 2020 cohortMetorConnect V. Learn more and apply today (or pass it on to a business that might benefit).

  1. EDC fostered 3 regional goals for a more #inclusiveSD

While the growth of our innovation economy has created tremendous opportunity, it has also perpetuated systemic inequities. 2019 was all about elevating an inclusive economic development strategy – the lens in which EDC views all of its work – so that economic growth is seen and felt among the entire region. In order to effectively do this, EDC’s employer-led Inclusive Growth Steering Committee supported actionable recommendations and measurable targets for creating a San Diego that benefits all residents. By 2030:

Inclusive Growth goals

  1. With support from EDC, Cubic Corporation secured $8.5M in tax credits & broke ground on its new HQ

Cubic Corporation is a global company with clients on nearly every continent, yet it has called San Diego’s Kearny Mesa community home for 50 years. With assistance from EDC, Cubic secured a CalCompetes Tax Credit worth $8.5 million. This tax incentive allowed Cubic to break ground on its new San Diego HQ campus, and further reaffirm its investment to the region in the decades that follow. Here are a few words from Cubic Corporation on the support EDC provided:

“Since our founding in 1951, we have established strong roots in the San Diego community and it was very important for us to remain headquartered here. The San Diego Regional EDC was an integral resource for our redevelopment. They were able to strategically bring key partners together and secure incentives that best positioned us to redevelop our headquarters in the Kearny Mesa area.” – Anshooman Aga, executive vice president and CFO at Cubic Corporation

  1. EDC managed San Diego’s Integration Pilot Program (IPP), propelling 1,150+ successful missions

From monitoring coastal erosion to fighting wildfires, drones offer enormous social and environmental benefits. San Diego is currently one of 10 state, local, and tribal governments to participate in the Integration Pilot Program, which has allowed our region to be at the forefront of an industry that is expected to reach a $43 billion market value by 2024.

This year, the program – managed by EDC in collaboration with the City of San Diego – achieved new milestones. Giving way for Uber Eats to soon deliver burgers and Chula Vista Police Department to send first responders via drones, IPP completed 1,150+ unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) missions.

  1. EDC produced 24 reports to help residents and businesses better understand San Diego’s economy

EDC provides research and data to local companies, site selectors, and civic leaders to help them make well-informed decisions about our economy. From monthly reports (and videos) that chart key economic indictors to customized economic impact reports for companies, EDC’s research helped the regional stakeholders better understand this place we call home.

 San Diego's Economic Pulse

  1. Innovate78 amplified its reach along the 78 Corridor, convening more than 500+ individuals

With companies like Viasat, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and a plethora of award-winning craft breweries, the 78 Corridor is hub for innovation. Thanks to the region’s Innovate78 program, managed in collaboration with EDC and the cities of Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista, more than 500 stakeholders (think: entrepreneurs, high-quality talent, startups, etc.) attended events held in North San Diego County.

  1. World Trade Center San Diego strengthened ties with BMW, IBM, and Siemens during Germany Trade Mission

The introduction of non-stop San Diego-Frankfurt service aboard Lufthansa and a shift in economic power resulting from Brexit meant that Germany was becoming an increasingly important trade and investment partner for San Diego…and WTCSD wanted to be out in front of it. WTCSD pulled together more than 20 San Diego-based business and civic leaders to participate in a four day trade mission to Munich and Frankfurt, Germany.

International partnerships take time, but based on initial meetings on the trade mission, San Diego has planted the seed for long-term relationships with major companies, including BMW, IBM, Siemens, Daimler, and more.

  1. …and, finally, EDC launched a new website

With support from investors and partners, we launched a new sandiegobusiness.org. Here, you’ll find detailed information on EDC programs & initiatives, how we work with companies, as well as information about the brands we manage, including World Trade Center San Diego, SD: Life. Changing., and Innovate78. The website is designed to be viewable on any device, so San Diego is always showcasing its best self.

Laptop displaying EDC website

Here’s to our nearly 200 investors for their unwavering support in creating a prosperous San Diego for the next decade.


Interested in supporting our work? Join us.

Invest in EDC


EDDY Pump Corporation wins $35K in additional MetroConnect funding

Eddy Pump wins metroconnect grand prize

World Trade Center San Diego and 200+ live audience award the MetroConnect grand prize

World Trade Center San Diego named EDDY Pump Corporation, a global pump and dredge equipment manufacturer, as the MetroConnect program grand prize winner. Made possible through a grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co., the $35,000 award will be used to excel its technology and services to additional international markets.

EDDY Pump Corporation is a quintessential example of a San Diego defense company taking their products global,” said Nikia Clarke, Ph.D., Executive Director of World Trade Center San Diego.The results from this year’s cohort are impressive. From opening new offices in the Japan to inking multi-million dollar deals throughout Latin America, the participating MetroConnect companies are collectively strengthening the San Diego region’s economy.

During the 12-month program, companies in MetroConnect Year 4 collectively generated a net increase of $69.6 million in exports sales, signed 369 international contracts and opened 10 new facilities overseas. Together, the 20 participants also created more than 100 jobs in San Diego – evidence that exporting supports the increase of jobs locally.

MetroConnect is an export assistance program managed by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC. Each year, the participating cohort vies for a chance to win the grand prize—$35,000 to aid in their international market expansion plans. For the fourth year of MetroConnect, 20 export-ready companies were selected and equipped with a slew of financial and programmatic resources to assist in their plans to expand internationally.

With proposed tariffs, trade wars and the looming Brexit deadline, the national rhetoric around global trade has shifted. However, according to a recent article from The Brookings Institution, exporting or going global offers firms the opportunity to diversify markets, grow local regional economies and add more well-paying jobs. Programs such as MetroConnect help expand the pipeline of export-ready firms.

The four finalists from this year’s 20-company cohort were Bitchin’ Sauce, EDDY Pump, LRAD Corporation and Scientist.com. The grand prize winning company was selected based on a 50-50 split, weighing the popular vote from a live audience of 200-plus international business professionals and community leaders and selection from a judging panel comprised of representatives from Qualcomm Ventures, City of San Diego Economic Development Department and last year’s MetroConnect winner, Cure Match.

“The MetroConnect program has been a game-changer, allowing us to increase our international exports by $5 million from the previous year and enter into five key new countries,” said Ben Weinrib, CEO & Managing Partner at EDDY Pump Corporation. “In the years that follow, we are looking to close a multi-million dollar per year contract with some of the largest companies in Canada as well as selling our technology to friendly foreign militaries.” 

“Since 2015, Chase has supported the MetroConnect program helping San Diego businesses realize their potential to scale and successfully navigate complex global markets,” said Aaron Ryan, Executive Director for San Diego Middle Market Banking at JPMorgan Chase. “San Diego is one of the best places for new business and innovation, and we are very excited to help businesses compete locally and to be able to grow globally.”

The MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest was hosted at The Alexandria on November 13, with keynote remarks by Barbara White, CFO at Taylor Guitars and the winner announced by Bud Colligan, senior advisor for international affairs and trade at California Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz).

Applications for year five of the MetroConnect program are now open. Interested small- and medium-sized companies, who are looking to pursue international sales as a near-term priority or already exporting its goods or services, may apply here.

About World Trade Center San Diego
World Trade Center San Diego operates as an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. WTC San Diego works to further San Diego’s global competitiveness by building an export pipeline, attracting and retaining foreign investment and increasing San Diego’s global profile abroad. sandiegobusiness.org/wtcsd

About EDDY Pump Corporation
Founded in 1984, EDDY Pump is a technology development and manufacturing company located in San Diego, CA. The company designs and manufactures proprietary technology for the U.S. Military along with some of the largest oil, mining, wastewater, chemical, marine construction and other industry-related companies in the world. By bring together some of the best mechanical, electric, ocean, embedded systems, hydraulic and manufacturing engineers, EDDY Pump is leading the field with breakthrough technology. eddypump.com



Meet our MetroConnect Sponsor: British Airways

British Airways Logo

The MetroConnect export assistance program, presented by JPMorgan Chase, is made possible through the generous support of private and public sector sponsors. Over the past few years, WTC has partnered with many of the international airlines serving the San Diego region, in order to expand the reach of the program and provide greater value to the companies in each cohort. British Airways is one of four airlines sponsoring this initiative and allowing MetroConnect companies to access key markets, without breaking the bank.

British Airways

British Airways offers the only daily direct service flight between London (LHR) and San Diego International Airport (SAN).

British Airways is the number one carrier in London, the world’s largest international aviation market, and the top European carrier across the North Atlantic. Together, with its joint business agreement, codeshare, and franchise partners, British Airways operates one of the world’s most extensive international airline networks. The airline flies to more than 70 different countries, carries 40 million+ customers per year, and maintains a fleet of nearly 300 aircraft. This summer, it will be operating close to 1,000 flights per day across four London airports. British Airways is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance, which together serves some 1,000 destinations across the globe.

To maintain its strong position in the market, British Airways will invest £6.5 billion over the next five years, adding 72 new aircraft to its fleet. The Club Suite is the highly anticipated new business class seat, available in Airbus A350 aircraft. It offers direct-aisle access, a suite door, 1-2-1 configuration and a flat-bed option. When combined with the extra space, calm and wellbeing of the A350, customers can feel truly rested on their flights.

This year, the company celebrates its 100th anniversary. Part of the year-round celebrations include repainting selected aircraft in a series of heritage liveries. The new retro design on the Airbus A319 is the BEA livery, which flew on European routes between 1959 and 1968.

Join WTCSD, British Airways and the finalists from this year’s MetroConnect program on Wednesday, November 13 at The Alexandria for the finale of this year’s program. Bitchin’ Sauce, Eddy Pump, LRAD Corporation, and Scientist.com will compete in a pitch competition for an additional $35,000 to further their export efforts. You can RSVP for the MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest here. We hope to see you there!